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February 25, 2021

MAE: Demarches for Romania’s inclusion in Visa Waiver program to be continued

Romania’s Foreign Affairs ministry (MAE) has taken note of the U.S. Department of State publishing a report on the refusal rate of short-stay visa applications for fiscal year Fiscal year 1 October 2014 – 31 September 2015, announcing that it will continue alongside other Romanian institutions the demarches for Romania’s accession to the Visa Waiver Program.

“The Romanian authorities attach special importance to the objective of Romania’s inclusion, as a strategic partner, in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The topic of lifting the short-term nonimmigrant visa requirements for Romanian citizens travelling to the U.S. is a constant item on the agenda of the political dialogue with the U.S. partners at the U.S. Administration and Congress level, as well as at the level of the working group on consular issues, including the visa issue, related to the Romania-US Task Force. MAE has been acting constantly for reaching this objective,” MAE says in a press statement on Friday.

MAE underscores that, on a governmental level, Romania meets the technical and security criteria regarding access to the Visa Waiver Program, showing that this was also pointed out by the American partners. It points out that the latest of the relevant agreements – an agreement between Romania and the U.S. on strengthening cooperation in the prevention and combat of serious crime – was signed in October last year, in Washington, and it is on track to be ratified by Romania’s Parliament.

Moreover, MAE says the main obstacle preventing the fast accession of Romania to this programme is currently the refusal rate of the visa applications filed by Romanian nationals, which exceeds the maximum threshold of 3 percent, established by the current U.S. legislation.

“Establishing the refusal rate threshold is exclusively up to the U.S. authorities. Generally, the refusal rate is determined both by the quality and fairness of the applications for the short-term nonimmigrant visas and by the evaluation of the U.S. authorities in terms of the manner in which each Romanian citizen proves the existence of some sustainable connections, which provide guarantees on coming back to the country after the visa expires,” the statement says.

MAE mentions that last year it started an awareness campaign for the Romanian citizens travelling to the U.S. about observing the local legislation that regulates staying and working.

MAE reiterates its availability to contribute, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, for a better information of the Romanian citizens in respect to the procedure for obtaining a short-term non-immigration visa for the U.S. and the eligibility requirements, aimed at decreasing the refusal rate.

Moreover, it shows it will continue together with other Romanian institutions in charge with dialogue and cooperation with the U.S. partners, the political-diplomatic efforts with the U.S. Administration and Congress representatives, for Romania’s accession as soon as possible to the Visa Waiver Program.

The U.S. Department of State released on Friday Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate for fiscal year 1 October 2014 – 31 September 2015.

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